When I heard the really sad, fragile guitar solo in “Pale Blue Eyes,” I think maybe that was the first time I ‘got’ music on my own terms, outside of any context. The Velvet Underground was the first band I listened to when I realized that liking certain bands could make me ‘cool,’ but they were also one of the first bands that made me understand what it meant to appreciate music without caring about its social currency.
The Feelies - “What Goes On” (The Velvet Underground cover)
One of my favorite VU covers ever from the perennially underappreciated New Jersey indie rockers The Feelies. This one appears as the closing track on their 1987 LP Only Life.
Rest in peace Lou Reed. I was listening to this earlier today. I’m going to be really sad for a while now.
Rilo Kiley — “After Hours (Velvet Underground cover)” from the single for “The Execution of All Things”
oh, someday I know someone will look into my eyes/and say, “hello, you’re my very special one”
I felt free after things ended with my ex-girlfriend but that didn’t mean I felt good. I was so shocked by what had happened that I began starting each day with stress vomiting. I pretty much stopped eating and sleeping. Not on purpose, but because I just couldn’t. I lost around fifteen pounds in two weeks; I felt like a zombie.
During this time, I came home one day to find a big box in front of my apartment door. I looked around for some reason for its presence before taking it inside. I opened it to find a chocolate-dipped fortune cookie bigger than my head. It was covered in dinosaur sprinkles and the fortune had lyrics from Slowreader’s “I Like You Most.” I couldn’t believe this thing was in my lap. I laughed for the first time in weeks and broke off a piece of the cookie to eat. Within a few hours, I had eaten the whole thing.
Although the sender was supposed to be anonymous, the company included a receipt, which included the name of a good friend of mine who lived back home. I called to thank her for it and she told me that this was her big gesture, that she wanted to be with me. I was flattered but I wasn’t anywhere near ready to date anyone at the time nor did I want to harm our friendship. She said it was ok, that she’d wait for me. I worried about her feelings and told her she shouldn’t do that but there was no dissuading her.
When I was home a month later, she asked if we could hang out and I said yes. It was fine but didn’t go the way either of us hoped: I wanted to be friends, she wanted me to fall in love with her. She made me a mix that, until I got a mix from the man who would become my husband, was probably the best mix I’d ever received in a romantic sense. It had Hefner’s “I Took Her Love for Granted” which instantly elevated it but it also had Rilo Kiley covering “After Hours” by the Velvet Underground, a B-side to the single for “The Execution of All Things” that I had never heard before. I loved it but I also felt incredibly guilty for not feeling the same way about her. We sat in my car and I turned off the mix.
“I don’t want to be together like that,” I said.
“I know,” she said. “You’ve just had a rough few years and I want you to know what you deserve.”
And while the minute she said that, it felt like a weight had been lifted, I also realized that every person I’d loved romantically had loved me in the most selfish ways possible. They didn’t think about what was best for me; they just wanted what they wanted when they wanted it. My friend and I kissed once and it confirmed for me that we wouldn’t work but I left with the knowledge that I wasn’t just worth being loved but being loved well.
Left of the Dial Radio Playlist - 2/1/13
We were having some technical difficulties in the studio at WNHU last night, and the online stream may or may not have been working for the entirety of the broadcast. Anyway, if you did get a chance to tune in, or if you’re just interested in what I played, here is the full playlist from Left of the Dial last night. I won’t be doing my show next Friday because I’ll be seeing Jeff Mangum, but be sure to tune in the Friday after that for another live broadcast.
Stream the available tracks from the playlist below via Spotify.
- 1. The Antlers - “I Don’t Want Love”
- 2. The Velvet Underground - “Beginning to See The Light”
- 3. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - “A Teenager In Love”
- 4. Los Campesinos! - “Romance Is Boring”
- 5. Grimes - “Genesis”
- 6. Wise Blood - “B.I.G. E.G.O.”
- 7. Dirty Projectors - “Gun Has No Trigger”
- 8. Animal Collective - “Also Frightened”
- 9. Primal Scream - “Higher Than The Sun”
- 10. The Beach Boys - “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)”
- 11. The Stone Roses - “Waterfall”
- 12. Elvis Costello - “The Greatest Thing”
- 13. Cat Power - “Manhattan”
- 14. The xx - “Islands”
- 15. David Bowie - “Sound and Vision”
- 16. The Jam - “Start!”
- 17. Titus Andronicus - “Ecce Homo”
- 18. The Modern Lovers - “Roadrunner”
- 19. LCD Soundsystem - “Beat Connection”
- 20. Tame Impala - “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”
- 21. Iceage - “Coalition”
- 22. Bright Eyes - “Take It Easy (Love Nothing)”
- 23. Crystal Castles - “Untrust Us”
- 24. WHY? - “These Few Presidents”
Stream via Spotify:
Left of the Dial Radio Playlist - 10/12/12
Thanks for tuning in to last night’s broadcast of my radio show Left of the Dial on WNHU. Last night’s show was of the autumnal musical persuasion, featuring some perfect fall songs by artists like The Tallest Man On Earth and Yo La Tengo. This is the kind of music that Mr. Autumn Man probably listens to this time of year.
The full playlist is below, and most of the songs are available to stream via Spotify at the embedded link at the bottom.
- 1. Jens Lekman - “Black Cab”
- 2. Belle and Sebastian - “Come On Sister”
- 3. The Velvet Underground - “Sunday Morning” (Live at Max’s Kansas City version)
- 4. A.C. Newman - “There’s Money In New Wave”
- 5. Benjamin Gibbard - “Bigger Than Love”
- 6. Jason Lytle - “Matterhorn”
- 7. Lower Dens - “Brains”
- 8. Poliça - “I See My Mother”
- 9. Purity Ring - “Saltkin”
- 10. S O H N - “Oscillate”
- 11. Sharon Van Etten - “Sychophant”
- 12. The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die - “Gig Life”
- 13. Elliott Smith - “Son Of Sam” (Requested by blueshadedays)
- 14. Perfume Genius - “Dark Parts”
- 15. The Tallest Man On Earth - “The Wild Hunt”
- 16. Violent Femmes - “Hallowed Ground”
- 17. Wilco - “Jesus, Etc.”
- 18. Yo La Tengo - “Tears Are In Your Eyes”
- 19. WHY? - “Kevin’s Cancer”
- 20. The Mountain Goats - “Steal Smoked Fish”
- 21. Titus Andronicus - “In A Small Body”
- 22. LVL UP - “TOPSIDER”
- 23. Destroyer - “Your Blood”
- 24. Morrissey - “Speedway”
- 25. Radiohead - “Let Down”
- 26. The Microphones - “I Felt Your Shape”
- 27. Okkervil River - “John Allyn Smith Sails”
- 28. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - “Biomusicology”
Stream via Spotify:
My favorite Velvets record. The debut is the most important, White Light/White Heat is the coolest, Loaded is the one my dad will listen to, but the self titled 3rd record has the best songs.
This is why suicidewatch is the best blog.
mycatcaneatawholewatermelon-dea said: The Velvet Underground.
First song: Pretty sure it was “Sunday Morning”, but I can’t confirm this.
Favorite song: “Lady Godiva’s Operation”. Dark, brooding, and mysterious. I love Lou’s awkward little vocal interjections.
Favorite Album: Their 1969 self-titled album is their best.
Favorite lyric: All of “Heroin”
The Velvet Underground - Heroin
Earlier today I was listening to the live version of this (off Rock N’ Roll Animal) and I realized this is probably the greatest song ever written. Not my favorite, but the greatest.
This fucking song.
I’ve always sort of thought this was the greatest song ever written. Rock N’ Roll Animal can go fuck off though.